About the Author
Recent posts by Eric Edholm
I spoke with Giants WR Steve Smith the other day as training camp was getting underway. He clearly is going to be a key factor in the team's plans this season, and other than one off day of practice in which he dropped a couple of passes, the reports have been good.
Head coach Tom Coughlin even had a few nice things to say about him after Thursday's practice:
"Steve has had a good camp. I know he’s had one practice that wasn’t as good as the others, but day in and day he gives you a good day’s work. You can count on Steve — he’s reliable and dependable. He also has mental toughness. Even when things aren’t going his way, he’ll come right back and work just as hard and doesn’t get discouraged."
Smith is trying to raise his profile entering his third season, and he has a great chance to given the Giants' lack of a clearly defined go-to guy at receiver. Of course, it's hard when (a) you have as common a name as he does and (b) that same name happens to belong to one of the game's best receivers in Carolina.
So that's why the Giants' Smith has opened himself up to just about anyone who wants to get to know him. He has a Facebook page that he updates regularly (http://www.facebook.com/stevesmith) and has been a regular, er, tweeter on Twitter (http://twitter.com/stevesmithwr12). He has more than 10,000 new "friends" on Facebook and more than 4,000 followers on Twitter. Off to a good start, I'd say.
"I feel like I am showing people I am a normal guy," Smith told me. "I am really excited that everyone gets to see the different things I do, and I am really happy and pleased with the response I am getting."
It seems like "Twitter" is the biggest buzz word in these camps this year, with seemingly a new story about it written every day. I wonder when I see this and think about the potential downside of having fans know an athlete's daily moves, from brushing their teeth to studying the playbook or taking the new car out for a ride.
It's a different world we live in, yeah. But I fear the day that an athlete tweets that he's "GOING TO THE APPLEBEE'S ON 5TH AND WESTERN" and some crazy fan decides he's going to go there and harrass the guy. Smith should know — he was held up and robbed outside his home in December. I asked him what he thought about exposing more of his life to the public.
"It depends on the guy, but if you're smart about it and cool with people, don't do anything and stay humble, it's not a problem at all," Smith said.
You know, like, act like Plaxico Burress. (Sorry, couldn't resist.)
On the field, Smith has a great chance to take some of Plax's catches. They are different players, but Smith believes he can be the downfield threat Burress was. And with the Giants attempting to establish a deep passing game this offseason, Smith says he can be the man to call on.
"I know I can do that," Smith said. "I know I can start and be one of the key guys here."
For a little more on Smith's interesting training routine this offseason, check out what I wrote about in last week's The Way We Hear It.